Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Innovator's DNA

What does it take to disrupt the status quo?

I'm currently reading "The Innovator's DNA" - the most recent in the series on disruptive innovation (co)authored by Clay Christensen.   This one looks at the skills of disruptive leaders and tries to figure out what's different - how did they discover their idea?  According to their research, it comes down to five traits. 
  1. Associating - the ability to look at a variety of things and connect the dots in new and novel ways.  
  2. Questioning - poking holes in the status quo by asking "why does it have to be that way?"
  3. Observing - the art of seeing is grossly under-appreciated
  4. Networking - getting ideas and feedback from as a diverse source of inputs as possible
  5. Experimenting - since these ideas haven't been done before, learn by doing, discarding and defining
These are not the typical traits we look for in managers, in fact they are the polar opposite since we want experience with delivering results within a defined business model - not a new model altogether.

In the context of marketing, and digital in particular, these traits make sense when trying to deliver a seamless experience across the touch points.  

There are some interesting self-assessments on the website as well.  I lean toward the 'discovery' vs. 'delivery' side of things.

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